Full transcript from segment of Dan Reith’s Politically Speaking taped in early April dealing with $40,000 community improvement loan received by mayoral candidate Mark Cosens.
Dan Reith: “Yourself or a company controlled by you received a $40,000 community improvement loan from the city which, subsequent to the bankruptcy filing, still remains outstanding and owing to the city. Is that true?”
Mark Cosens:”That is something I’m really not able to talk to in a sense it wasn’t a decision I made. It was a decision made by the city, without my involvement in that decision and I don’t think that’s something that can be held against me for running for mayor because of that.
“It’s something that hasn’t been fully disclosed at this point in time either. So, that may get cleared up as well. At this point in time, It’s hard to say what that might do to my bid.”
Dan: “To voters who might not understand the intricacies of the process, and you don’t want them to not consider you because of that, how do you explain that to them. Or how do you explain the fact the city did something without your knowledge?”
Mark: “I can’t answer for the city what they did without my knowledge. It was their prerogative to do what they did. The consequences of it are now their’s. I’m not going to take ownership of those consequences because it wasn’t something that I did. Should it hurt me? I don’t think it should. There may be some out there that will try and use it against me or not support me because of it, but perhaps that’s not the only reason they’re not supporting me anyway. And they just want to make a bit of a kerfuffle out of something that they really should be asking the city why that happened and not me.”
Dan: “To clear the air for those who may be wondering, has that money been repaid or will it be?”
Mark” No, it’s got nothing to do with me at this point in time. The city made the decision that caused that to happen and it’s got nothing to do with me at this time. There’s nothing I can do about it.”
Dan: “When you say the city made the decision, what decision was that?”
Mark:”You’re going to have to go to the city and clear that up. I’ve been to them. I can’t necessarily get the clearest answer from the city, other than to say I didn’t know it had happened at the time it did. It has, there’s nothing I can do about it.”
Dan: “To the voters, you want them to know … ”
Mark: “I’m here talking about it. Again if they want a city that continues to make mistakes like that, then continue along the path we’re going. I don’t think the city should have been making those decisions and they did. I wouldn’t have made it if the tables were turned and I was in the position to do it. But, for whatever reason they did. It’s not my place and I hope that people don’t hold it against me. I went into the theatre and it was a dream of mine. We bought it in 2003 and we worked tirelessly to re-do the entire inside of the building and re-do the façade and nothing was taken out of the Community Improvement Plan. I did the façade at my own expense. We thought we were really giving something back to the community, and for awhile we did. Who knows, maybe someone else will pick up where I left off and champion that again. I’d love to see it. I’d certainly support it.”
Dan: “So this error, I’m assuming that’s a fair way to define it, which caused the grant to be given to you, which was then lost in the bankruptcy, is that something that would have been avoided had a CAO been in place at city hall?”
Mark: “I think it would be a fair statement to make that. I can’t guarantee that, because we don’t know. From my perspective, it certainly would have crossed the radar screen of a CAO, absolutely. And then you could have asked them why that happened. Nobody goes through what I had to go through and wants to do it. But, I took the chance. I put a lot on the line to do that and I firmly believed in it and you know that, you certainly were one of our customers at the theatre many times. And it was a wonderful thing to have in our downtown. And, in our community as a whole. So, I think we’re lessened because of the loss of it, of course. And, maybe because I don’t have to run a theatre and pop popcorn on a regular basis I now have time to take on the challenges a mayor’s role would task me with.”
End of segment to station break